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Jacqueline Washington
Associate Professor of Biology / Chair
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Nyack College
A Sickeningly Sweet Baby Boy: A Case Study of Recessive Inheritance in Inbred Populations

When a newborn develops symptoms eerily similar to those of an older sibling who died shortly after birth, his Mennonite parents are understandably alarmed. They soon discover that their son has Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), a recessively inherited metabolic disorder. This case explores the genetics of the disease and the ultimate dilemma of treatment options. Developed for an introductory non-majors biology course, the case can also be used in other science or health related courses such as human genetics and biochemistry.